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Athletes can tie their entire identity to their sporting exploits. PDP contributor & mental performance expert, John Haime shares insight into the challenge for athletes coming to the end of their career, illustrating the importance of developing the person. The...

Research Reviews

Ase Strandbu, Kari Stefansen, Ingrid Smette, and Morten Rensio Sandvik The Big Idea  “Involved parenthood” in organized youth sports is what these Norwegian researchers are attempting to better understand.  Child-centered parenting they note—using the United States as an example—is still...

Masterclass Discussions

Cameron Knowles has been part of the Portland Timbers organisation for well over a decade. Following a 7 year professional playing career at Real Salt Lake, the Timbers and Montreal Impact, Cameron made the move into coaching where he worked...

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The Blog

Awareness, decision-making, perception and execution are all part of skill acquisition. PDP contributor & Founder of TOVO Institute, Todd Beane shares an article on coaching methodology to enhance players cognitive fitness. Are your players cognitively fit? If you are like...

Session Plans

PDP Video Session Plans are adaptable sessions designed by academy coach, Dave Wright. All sessions show key focus points, set up, and progressions so you can use them in your next practice.

Session Plans

PDP Video Session Plans are adaptable sessions designed by academy coach, Dave Wright. All sessions show key focus points, set up, and progressions so you can use them in your next practice.

Research Reviews

 J. Bartholomew, N. Ntoumanis, and C. Ntoumanis The Big Idea  Let’s begin this research review with an illustration.  In sports, there is a difference between players who are merely involved and players who are fully committed.  (You will have to...

Q&A Videos

The question this week comes from Dave, via Twitter: “Is hunger or desire coachable? I have some Under 13 players who are lacking in desire but they have a good technical base.”   Additional Resources Research Review – Controlling Motivational...

The Magazine

Frenkie De Jong is one of Dutch Football’s brightest stars. PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan examines a recent interview with De Jong and shares some brilliant research around knowledge and learning, helping coaches understand how to create a learning environment...

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The Magazine

As a coach, it’s easy to overlook the sacrifices players and their parents make to pursue their love of sport. With support from Murray United Technical Director, Adam Carty, PDP Contributor, Lara Mossman shares an article on commitment and motivation...

The Magazine

What value does belonging have in youth development? PDP Contributor & Chief Content Officer at Changing the Game Project, Reed Maltbie shares a personal story that outlines the critical importance of the environments we create and the tribes we belong...

The Magazine

Premature professionalism in youth sport is a growing problem. Environments created to replicate professional sport, ‘elite’ pathways at 8-years-old and coaches removing autonomy from the environment by exerting total control. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright challenges the status...

The Magazine

How do you communicate with your players? In this article PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright shares some fascinating reflections and advice for coaches on how to effectively question and communicate with players to make sure they genuinely think about solutions...

The Magazine

Player Development Project Assistant Editor, Jon Hoggard, looks at some of the recent top stories in world football, through the lens of PDP values and philosophies. Abuse shows erosion of values You’d hope that the press headlines after a Chelsea...

Session Plans

PDP Video Session Plans are adaptable sessions designed by academy coach, Dave Wright. All sessions show key focus points, set up, and progressions so you can use them in your next practice.

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Masterclass Discussions

Steve Kirby has over 15 years experience working in academy football in England. Formerly Lead Youth Development Phase Coach at MK Dons, Steve is now the U18 Assistant Coach at Leicester City FC. In this interview, PDP Editor, Dave Wright...

The Blog

What place does chaos have in development? Co-founder of myfastestmile and top PDP contributor, Mark Upton shares a thought provoking article on the balance between chaos and order and how it might impact on the environments we create, referencing the...

Research Reviews

Balague, C. Torrents, R. Hristovski, K. Davids, and D. Araujo The Big Idea Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a legendary Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, and novelist.  The following lyrics are from his 1992 album The Future and the song “Anthem”: Ring the...

Session Plans

PDP Video Session Plans are adaptable sessions designed by academy coach, Dave Wright. All sessions show key focus points, set up, and progressions so you can use them in your next practice.

Session Plans

In this PDP Live Session, UEFA A licensed coach Dave Wright shares a practice which encourages players to play 1v1 and cope with pressure on the ball to develop confidence with individual possession.Dave takes us through the why behind the session, presenting the plan and some individual position specific challenges. The session emphasises the importance of ball retention, bravery and creativity in attack whilst encouraging defenders to use their body and secure possession.This physically demanding practice is great for multidirectional speed, mental resilience and can be adapted for players of different ages.

Masterclass Discussions

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan shares part four of the FC Barcelona series, developed after James’ 12 months living in Barcelona. In this discussion, PDP Editor Dave Wright hosts James in a conversation on the historical...

The Blog

Social dynamics are a crucial part of any team environment. Integrating new players and ensuring they have a positive experience is a key component of coaching. In this article, new PDP Contributor & PhD Candidate at La Trobe University, Dianna...

Session Plans

In our very first PDP Live Session, UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright demonstrates a 4 v 4 + 4 possession and positional practice.Working with twelve U15 players, Dave demonstrates how coaches can deliver an opposed passing and possession practice with a number of technical aims. This practice provides high repetition of passing receiving skills under pressure, variety of decision-making and encourages players to take up positions in space so they can play forward early.Dave includes some individual challenges for central players and goalkeepers as well as working on quick transition. This session can be adapted from 9-15 players and distances adjusted to alter difficulty in or out of possession. Dave will talk through what he’s observing as the session unfolds and work with the players on taking risks, encourage players to decide when to keep possession or progress with the ball, work on different receiving shapes and how to break lines with forward passes.